THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) will not be able to investigate allegations of poll fraud if no complaint is formally filed before the poll body, according to Commissioner Louie Tito Guiao.
Guiao said the commission will have no basis to conduct an investigation on the claim of three unidentified whistleblowers that the votes of certain candidates were padded.
Guia, head of the Comelec Random Manual Audit (RMA) Committee explained that although the allegations were serious, these will remain as hearsay if not substantiated by strong evidence. He stressed that the burden of proof lies on the accuser and as such a “formal complaint or case must be filed before the Comelec or any other proper body.”
“It’s an election offense. But as of now, we see no basis to conduct an investigation [in the absence of a formal complaint],” he added.
The three whistleblowers who showed up on Monday at the Senate claimed that they were involved in the shaving and padding of votes in Quezon Province. One of the men said their work involved manipulating the votes being transmitted by municipalities to their operation center, which was put up before the polls.
“We will change the votes garnered by the candidates based on the instructions given to us, then transmit the new figures to the Smartmatic machines at the second and third floor of the building which will then transmit [the new figures]to the various servers,” the man said.
The whistleblower alleged that at least 200,000 votes were shaved from Marcos and credited to Robredo.
He added that Roxas, Senator Franklin Drilon and other Liberal party cadidates also benefitted from the operation.
Guia, however, dismissed the allegations, saying the automated election system (AES) does not work that way.
Under the AES, canvassing starts from the municipal/city board of canvassers and transmitted to the provincial board of canvassers, and then to the Comelec.
Guia pointed out that political parties have their respective poll watchers and election watchdog volunteer groups were also observing the canvassing, which made it almost impossible for anybody to tinker with the election results.
Still, the commissioner said the poll whistleblowers should file a complaint so that their claims will be looked into.